Notre Dame extends win streak to 11
Fighting Irish sweep Bowling Green on Tuesday
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- No. 24 Notre Dame swept Bowling Green in commanding fashion Tuesday at Melissa Cook Stadium to improve its winning streak to 11 games. The softball sluggers previously won nine in a row to open the season.
Notre Dame bumped its overall record to 28-7 with a 10-2 six-inning victory to begin the doubleheader and closed the door with an 8-5 non-conference win.
The Irish, who have won 28 of their last 29 home games, now look forward to a contest against Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday.
Heather Johnson extended her hitting streak to 17 games and has now recorded at least one RBI in each of the last 13 affairs.
Two runs came in the first on Johnson's RBI single to left and Dani Miller's sacrifice fly.
The first home run of the season for Brianna Jorgensborg accounted for two more Irish runs in the second as Amy Buntin drew a leadoff walk to start the stanza.
Page Berger's seventh home run of the season came in the top of the fourth to bring the Falcons (4-23) within a trey, 4-1. The run was the only score allowed by Jody Valdivia (8-4) in 5.0 innings. Valdivia registered six strikeouts and permitted five hits with one walk.
Johnson added another RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, driving in Alexa Maldonado from third. Maldonado singled to center to begin the frame.
Berger smashed another solo home run in the top of the sixth.
That homer was answered in the bottom half of the penultimate stanza by Katie Fleury to make the score 6-2 in favor of Notre Dame. Four more runs would be plated after that blast.
Buntin reached on a fielder's choice, which was aided by Paige Berger's obstruction on the base path. Jorgensborg was walked and Erin Marrone dropped a single to right that scored Buntin.
Sadie Pitzenberger legged out a triple to right and stood on third when an unconventional walk-off illegal pitch by Zada Lines (3-6) gave Pitzenberger a free bag to end the game.
Jorgensborg connected for a team-high two hits. Maldonado, Buntin and Jorgensborg each scored twice.
Notre Dame knocked seven hits off of Zada, who allowed 10 earned runs with one strikeout. Zada was hindered by a number of illegal pitches and walked six.
Berger and Fulk each accounted for two of Bowling Green's six hits.
Jackie Bowe added a pair of punchouts in the final frame.
Three Irish runs in each of the first two innings put the game out of reach soon after it began.
The three runs in the first came on three hits, starting with Maldonado's bunt single. Alexia Clay sacrificed Maldonado to second and after Johnson was walked, Miller singled home a run with a rocket to right-center. Marrone stroked a two-RBI double down the rightfield line to round out the scoring.
Pitzenberger singled as Maldonado and Clay drew walks in the second inning. This time it was Johnson who accounted for the RBI with a single through the right side. Miller, who led all players with three hits while tacking on a pair of RBI, singled home Johnson with a shot to center.
Miller added a double in the fifth.
Katie Yoho tripled to center in the second but was left stranded after a pair of Laura Winter (15-2) strikeouts. Winter hung her hat on 4.0 innings of scoreless pitching, striking out five around two Falcon hits.
The next Falcon base runner came in the fourth when Andrea Arney singled, and Bowling Green avoided being shut out with a run in the fifth. Brittany O'Donnell loaded the bases and Hannah Fulk pounded a fielder's choice to shortstop to cut into the Irish lead, 6-1.
The Falcons dotted O'Donnell for four hits, and two of those narrowly squeezed past the infield. O'Donnell finished her 2.0 innings in the circle with one strikeout and one walk.
Clay put the final touches on the scoring effort for the Irish with a home run down the leftfield line in the bottom of the sixth. That blast followed Buntin's pinch-hit single to start the inning.
Bowling Green ended on a high note with three hits in the seventh, the biggest of which came on Arney's grand slam off of relief pitcher Shannon Kelly.
Notre Dame had 10 hits, compared to nine by the Falcons.
The loss went to Bowling Green's Melissa Bott (1-11), who lasted a mere 1.1 innings after getting slammed for six earned runs on six hits.
Erin Greenwalt fared much better after allowing just two earned runs in the final 4.2 innings. Greenwalt struck out five of the 18 batters she faced.